Jesuit helps Singapore youth find God in music

Jesuit Father Mark Aloysius and Church of St Ignatius parishioner Anthony Siow were the main organisers and presenters of the workshop.

Singapore
Aug 13 2014, 12:47 PM
Jesuit helps Singapore youth find God in music
Participants of the Grooved workshop, held at CANA, taking part in a small group sharing.

20 participants of various ages focused on finding out whether it was possible to find God in all things, including popular songs at a one-day workshop titled Grooved: Finding God in Popular Music held on July 26 at the CANA Centre in Singapore.  

Jesuit Father Mark Aloysius and Church of St Ignatius parishioner Anthony Siow were the main organisers and presenters of the workshop.

Siow said that with the whole Ignatian notion of finding God in areas such as film and theatre, he wondered why no one thought of using popular music. “From this came the idea of holding the workshop.”

Siow began the workshop by introducing the programme that was centred on St Ignatius Loyola and the Ignatian spirituality. The workshop featured songs that dealt with freedom and derived its themes from the First Week of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius.

After each song, participants were given time for personal reflection, before they were broken up into small groups for discussions and sharing.

The first song was Death Cab for Cutie’s I Will Possess Your Heart, which focused on the theme of desire. Next, it was Madonna’s Love Tried to Welcome Me, which had the theme of refusing God’s love. The third song was Gravity by Sara Bareilles, which focused on the theme of disordered attachment.

Father Aloysius presented two songs, Demons by Imagine Dragons, which focused on the theme of Examen and ongoing discernment, and John Mayer’s The Heart of Life focused on principle and foundation.

For the five songs, Father Aloysius and Siow used poems, videos of dances interpreting the songs, as well as the original music videos.

During the question session, one participant asked if it was possible to find God in all popular music, given that some songs may contain expletives.

Father Aloysius replied that as long as “it helps you develop your relationship with God, helps you become a kinder person, a gentler person, sure. If it doesn’t, throw it away.”

Source: Catholic News

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